2012-2013

June 5

We are pleased to report that the Union has confirmed with the Employer the parity adjustments for 2013. Because the UCASS (Statistics Canada) data necessary to calculate the Disparity Correction (DISC) component of the Total Salary Adjustment are no longer available, the parties agreed to set the DISC component to zero for purposes of the Total Salary Adjustment.
 
The Parity Maintenance percentage for 2012-2013 was 1.98%. Consequently, the salaries of all members of the bargaining unit shall be increased by 1.98% effective one minute before midnight on June 30, 2013. 
 
We have requested an updated version of Schedule A (salary scales) from the Employer and expect to be able to share that revised Schedule with members shortly.

 


June 4
 
Following a full discussion/debate about the merits of the tentative agreement, the TUFA membership voted to ratify the new collective agreement at this afternoon's GMM. Congratulations to the bargaining team for their (continuing) perseverance! Thanks also to retired members Arndt Kruger and John Wadland  for serving as scrutineers for the ratification election.
 
In an effort to be able to report back to the members at today's GMM, the new Executive Committee had its initial meeting this morning to discuss the assignment of officer positions per the requirements of the TUFA Constitution. As reported this afternoon, the Executive Committee members settled on the following appointments:
 
  Grievance Officer: James Watson (Library)
  Treasurer: Ray Dart (Business Administration)
  Secretary and Communications Officer: Geoff Navara (Psychology)
  Vice-President: Jocelyn Williams (Anthropology)
 
Susan Wurtele (Geography) will continue as Chief Negotiator and Brenda Smith-Chant (Psychology) will serve as a member-at-large (assisting with communications).
 
The Executive determined that the remaining two positions -- Salaries and Benefits Officer and President -- will need to be filled by co-option to the Executive.  Up to three members may be co-opted to the Executive each year and the Executive is confident that it will be able to appoint a suitable member to serve as Salaries and Benefits Officer shortly.
 
The Nominating Committee reported that they had been unable to find a member willing and able to serve as President. This led the Executive to recommend that, notwithstanding the Constitution's limit on consecutive years of Executive Committee service, David Newhouse be co-opted to serve an additional year as the Association's President. That recommendation was presented to the membership at the GMM, moved, debated, and amended to permit David Newhouse to serve as President until the next duly constituted meeting of the Association at which time a motion to amend the Constitution to allow for David's continued service as President must be passed or his term in office ended. In this manner, the membership (with particular thanks due to Doug Torgerson) solved the Association's immediate problem of bargaining through the summer without a President.
 

 


June 4
 
The deadline for receipt of nominations for the Executive Committee was extended this year to May 31st and then further extended through June 2nd. On Monday morning, the Nominating Committee met to review all the nominations and related communications received in regard to our Executive elections. With five formal nominations in hand and five elected slots to fill, we are pleased to announce the election by acclamation of the following members:
 
  Ray Dart (Business Administration)
  Geoff Navara (Psychology)
  Brenda Smith-Chant (Psychology)
  Jocelyn Williams (Anthropology)
  Susan Wurtele (Geography)
 
James Watson (Library), who is entering the second year of a two-year term on the Executive Committee, is the one continuing member from last year's Executive. Consistent with the TUFA Constitution, the new Executive may co-opt an additional three members to serve on the Executive. The Association's officers (President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary and Communications Officer, Grievance Officer, and Salaries and Benefits Officer) must be drawn from the members of the Executive Committee and we expect that the determination of those appointments will be made and announced to the membership shortly.

May 31, 2013

Dear Colleagues,
 
Next week promises to be a busy one for TUFA and its members. 
 
 
------
 
Conference Call with Bargaining Team on Monday (June 3rd)
 
Members who would like more information about any aspects of the new tentative agreement in advance of our ratification meeting are encouraged to participate in a conference call with members of the bargaining team on Monday afternoon. The call will begin at 1:00 p.m. and will continue until, at least, 1:30 p.m.
 
To join the call, dial 1-866-280-5044 (North America - toll free) and enter participant code  4139601#  at the prompt.  (Members outside Canada or the U.S.A. should dial toll free 00-800-456-22-524.)
 
 
------
 
Ratification Vote on Tuesday (June 4th)
 
Ratification voting on the tentative agreement reached with the employer will take place at a General Membership Meeting held for this purpose on Tuesday from noon to 2:00 p.m. in GCS Room 114. As noted previously, this meeting will be held on the Peterborough campus with secret ballot voting limited to current members and former LTA members who -- as of June 4th -- have accepted future employment as a member of the TUFA bargaining unit. Former LTAs who have not secured employment for next year are nonetheless invited to attend the meeting and the Executive will recommend that the membership seat any such attendees as guests (with voice, but no vote).
 
 

 

 

May 10, 2013

 

Dear Colleagues,
 
I am writing to provide an update on the status of negotiations. For those of you in attendance at the GMM in April, this is largely a review.
 
We have concluded bargaining virtually all of the non-monetary issues the parties brought to the table. The remaining items are monetary and -- from the Employer’s perspective -- dependent on resolution of their pension proposal. Your TUFA bargaining team believes that a thorough and prudent exploration of our pension options may warrant as much as several more months of research, analysis, and negotiation including discussions with the provincial government. Consequently, TUFA has proposed to the Employer that the parties break the current negotiations into two parts. 
 
The first part, comprising all the articles on which we have reached a tentative agreement, would be recommended to the TUFA membership and to the University's Board of Governors for ratification on the basis of a one-year deal (July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2013). A critical component of the Memorandum of Settlement outlining this arrangement would be a commitment by the parties to resume bargaining over the remaining items immediately and to limit negotiations to those opened in the current round of negotiations. This second round of negotiations would aim for a two- or three-year deal, effective 1 July 2013. Another critical component of this approach would be an agreement on TUFA’s part to continue with our current level of pension contributions for the duration of these discussions. 
 
The TUFA bargaining team sees, at least, four advantages to such an approach:
 
 1. We would avoid the need for a mid-summer ratification (assuming the parties can reach agreement on the two-stage approach, our goal is to hold our first ratification vote before Convocation).
 
 2. New language relating to important processes and policies could be implemented prior to the start of the academic year.
 
 3. The parties would have sufficient time to weigh the possibilities offered by the CAAT Pension Plan and, in the event this option is not acceptable to either party, there would be time to negotiate an alternative resolution. 
 
 4. Any ratification of monetary issues (including changes to our pension arrangements) would be pushed back to the regular academic session when most of our members are available to vote.
 
It should be noted that the current members of TUFA's bargaining team have committed to stay in place for negotiation of the second, monetary, phase.
 
Your TUFA bargaining team is also making final preparations for the ratification vote, including plans for sharing full details of the tentative agreement with the membership prior to the vote. In addition to providing members with the full text of proposed changes, we are preparing written summaries and will host informal question and answer sessions on the two campuses and via telephone. 
 
In solidarity,
Sue

 


May 1, 2013

As of April 22nd, the date on which nominations for the Executive Committee were due in the TUFA office, the Association had not received any completed nomination forms. Consequently, the secretary requested, on behalf of the Nominating Committee, that the Executive extend the nominations period.

To date, the Association has received confirmation from four eligible members of their willingness to continue in office or stand for election. The TUFA Constitution describes an Executive of six elected members and up to three additional (co-opted) members. Under these circumstances, the Executive agreed with the Nominating Committee that an extension of time to fill more of the remaining Executive positions was warranted and passed a motion to extend the nomination period through May 31st. As a result, the acclamation/election of new members to the Executive will be commensurately delayed.

 


 

April 9, 2013

The Advisory Committee to Review the Presidency has posted a notice to MyTrent reminding members of the Trent community that this is the last week to provide input into the review of the Presidency.

In the first stage of its work, the Advisory Committee led the process to determine an appropriate mandate for the next presidential term. The committee is now nearing completion of the next stage of its work which is to make a recommendation regarding the reappointment of the incumbent for an additional term.

In the interest of ensuring that the voice of faculty and professional librarians is fully heard, TUFA encourages all interested members to submit their views on this question to the committee by the deadline, Friday April 12.

========================================================

NOTICE POSTED TO MyTrent, APRIL 9:

Presidency Review: Last Week to Comment

Send comments to presidencyreview@trentu.ca

The Advisory Committee to Review the Presidency will be receiving written views from members of the University Community until the end of this week.  Please visit www.trentu.ca/secretariat/presidencyreview.php for more information.

The Advisory Committee to Review the Presidency will be receiving written views from members of the University Community until the end of this week.  Please visit www.trentu.ca/secretariat/presidencyreview.php for more information.

================================================================

THE PRESIDENTIAL MANDATE for 2014-2019 (http://www.trentu.ca/secretariat/presidencyreview.php)

As the University begins its next fifty years, the president needs to:

    Be a transformational leader who inspires belief in a positive and exciting future for Trent University.

    Clarify, articulate and celebrate the University’s distinctive identity and promote its brand of student-centred education and research excellence, both internally and externally.

    Lead the University community in moving the institution forward while building on its traditional strengths and values.

    Actively position Trent University as an influential institution in Canada’s postsecondary landscape, and a destination of choice for students.

In fulfilling this over-arching mandate, the President is expected to focus significant attention on the following interconnected priority areas:

    The President will provide inspiring internal leadership that supports academic excellence and clearly defines Trent’s identity both in Peterborough and in Oshawa. The President will engage the academy in the strengthening and renewal of programs and foster a culture of leadership within the institution.

    The President will drive initiatives that enrich the student-centred experience both inside and outside the classroom.  These may include new teaching and learning initiatives, infrastructure improvements and special enrolment/retention initiatives for international students. Particular attention may be given to Aboriginal student recruitment and retention.

    The President will devote significant time and effort to external relations activities on behalf of the University with a special emphasis on government relations.  Additional priorities will include fundraising, community and regional development/engagement, alumni relations and inter-institutional relations.

    The President will lead the University to financial sustainability not only through domestic and international enrolment growth, integrated budget development and disciplined budget management, but also through fundraising, program renewal, endowment lands development and other innovative sources of revenue.

 
 

General Meeting call - April 18th, 10:00 am to noon



We have scheduled the Spring GMM for the morning of Thursday, April 18th (Bata 103 and Room 116 on the Oshawa campus).  Additional documents (in particular those pertaining to the Treasurer's report) will be sent out nearer to the meeting date.

 


April 5

Copied below is the response of our provincial affiliate (OCUFA) to the HEQCO recommendations circulated to all faculty by the administration earlier this morning:
 
Dear Colleagues;
Today, the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario released the recommendations of its “expert panel” convened to review the Strategic Mandate Agreements (SMAs) submitted by each university and college in Ontario. Overall, the panel recommends that the Government of Ontario take a more directive, interventionist role to drive greater differentiation and competition within the sector.
OCUFA has long been critical of HEQCO’s position on differentiation, and this new paper contains many problematic suggestions:
  • The idea that government should play a more active role in “designing” the system fails to protect universities from the vicissitudes of short-term political decision-making. Governments are notoriously bad at long-term planning in higher education, and shifting political priorities may lead to an unstable and unproductive planning environment for the sector. Ironically, this will make effective system design much more difficult.
  • The paper suggests that “learning outcomes” be used to apportion operating funding, despite failing to outline what outcomes are desirable, who defines the outcomes, and how they should be measured. In addition, funding models that only use outcome measures tend to make it difficult for under-performing institutions to improve, by removing funding from the institutions that need it most.  
  • The panel recommends that there should be more competition for operating funds in Ontario. Such a model  will inevitably create institutional “winners” and “losers”, thereby harming students at institutions judged to be somehow inferior. OCUFA believes that the funding formula should aim to support a high quality experience for every student.
  • The paper suggests that funding decisions be made, or at least heavily informed, by an external body. HEQCO advocates for an “expert” model for this validating authority, but does not specify how these experts should be selected, or who they should represent. Given HEQCO’s fondness for former administrators and representatives of the private sector, it is likely that they will push for a similar model.
The paper also makes frequent use of phrases like, “The evidence suggests that…” without indicating what that evidence might be, or where it might be found.
Ultimately, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that HEQCO’s advocacy for third-party validation is an indirect argument for expanding HEQCO’s mandate and budget, adding a certain element of self-interest to the argument.
OCUFA believes strongly that any reforms to Ontario’s universities should be developed through meaningful consultation with those who know the system best – students and faculty. HEQCO has so far embraced a model – both in its behavior and its recommendations – that depends heavily on advice solicited from outside the sector, provided by unaccountable panelists who develop their recommendations behind closed doors. This is not a model that will develop recommendations sensitive to Ontario’s unique challenges and responsive to its needs.
OCUFA agrees that a serious discussion needs to occur on the future of Ontario’s postsecondary system. We will continue to work to build the quality and accessibility of our institutions with those who share this commitment.
 
If you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch at 416 306 6033 or at gstewart@ocufa.on.ca
 

 

 
April 1, 2013
Dear Colleagues,
 
We have been very fortunate this year to have several members attend conferences sponsored by our affiliates. That said, we have not exhausted the funds budgeted to support members attending such conferences and hope to send one or more members to the conference described below.  Please contact the TUFA office for more information or to indicate your interest in representing TUFA  at this event.
 
_______
OCUFA (Co-sponsor)
"Worldviews 2013: Global Trends in Media and Higher Education" 
June 19-21, 2013
University of Toronto 
 
Organized by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA), the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto, the Washington-based Inside Higher Ed and the London-based University World News, "Worldviews 2013" is a lively two-day conference, assembling a variety of thinkers, academics, editors, students, journalists, communications professionals, all offering critical 
perspectives on higher education and the media and possible directions for the future. 
 
The themes of the 2013 Conference are:
 
Newsflashes from the global campus: Reporting trends, interpretations and relationships 
Hooking up or a long-term relationship? Future depictions of the professoriate and of journalism 
Unlocking the tower: How trends in media, citizenry, and government are altering the academy 
 
Particular sessions include:
 
The age of austerity for higher education: public reaction and media depictions
Student protests or civil society mobilization? Media depictions in Quebec, Chile, US, and UK 
The under-reported story: The role of university campuses in the Arab Spring
Innovations bred by austerity: Crowd-sourcing in media and in higher education
Playing favourites? Media’s bent on the Social investment vs. Government austerity debate on the future of higher education.
Who owns the academy: academic freedom, public finances and national security
Academic freedom and freedom of the press: Old tenets, new interpretations
National security, social media and the publicity of academic findings
 
Speakers include:
 
Adrian Monck, Head of Communications and Media, World Economic Forum;
Sir John Daniel, former President of the Commonwealth of Learning; 
Phillip Altbach, Director of the Centre of Higher Education, Boston College;
Teboho Moja, Clinical Professor of Higher Education, New York University and former advisor to the South African Minister of Education;
Gili Dori, professor of sociology and anthropology, Hebrew University;
Tony Burman, Ryerson University journalism professor and Al Jazeera's former head of strategy in the Americas;
Andrew Keen, author of "The Cult of the Amateur";
Lynn Pasquerella, President of Mount Holyoke College;
Mary Dwyer, Senior Editor, Maclean’s
Scott Jaschik, Editor of Inside Higher Ed 
Karen MacGregor, Global Editor of University World News.
Mark Kingwell, Philosopher, University of Toronto
Vinita Srivastava, Professor of Journalism, Ryerson University, and former editor, New York Times Magazine
 
Additional information is available at: http://worldviewsconference.com/ 

April 1, 2013

Dear Colleagues,
 
Nominations are now open for TUFA members interested in serving on the Association's Executive.
 
Members elected to the Executive serve for a two-year term, starting May 1st.
 
All members of the Association, including those holding Limited Term Appointments, are eligible to serve on the Executive. Previous experience is not required. 
 
There is ONE Executive member returning for the second year of his term (Watson, Library). The other member elected last year (Newhouse, Indigenous Studies) has reached the limit on consecutive years of service on the Executive Committee. THREE members of the Executive have reached the end of their elected two-year terms and, of these, one has also reached the limit on consecutive years of service (Cater, Economics) but the other two are eligible to stand for re-election (Smith-Chant, Psychology; Dart, Business). There are no co-opted members serving currently on the Executive. This leaves EIGHT vacancies on the Executive to be filled by election or co-option following the requirements of the TUFA Constitution.
 
Nominations will be accepted until the close of business on Monday April 22, 2012.  Please submit nominations to TUFA's Secretary, c/o tufa@trentu.ca. Nominations require the signature of at least two members in addition to the signature of the nominee, and should be submitted on the attached nomination form. As has been done previously, we will consider the signature requirement to be met provided an individual clearly states his/her intent (either to nominate, or to accept a nomination) in an email (sent to tufa@trentu.ca) with contact information. 
 
For information about serving on the Executive, please contact one of the members of the Nominating Committee (Ray Dart (rdart@trentu.ca) and Rachel Wortis (rwortis@trentu.ca), or the Association's President, David Newhouse (dnewhouse@trentu.ca). 
 
 
Sincerely,
 
Ray Dart
Secretary/Treasurer

March 4, 2013

Dear Colleagues,

Attached please find a briefing memo prepared by the bargaining team which addresses the Employer's proposals regarding TUFA's pension arrangements. This memo provides a summary analysis of our current situation and proposes a response mandate that the bargaining team believes would provide sufficient flexibility to explore possible changes to our pension arrangement while also setting forth clear and principled parameters for any such discussions.

By way of a reminder, our GMM is scheduled to begin at 1:45 pm on Tuesday March 5th (Bata Library 103/Oshawa Room 160).


March 1, 2013

Dear TUFA member,

You may have noticed that the links did not appear in the announcement yesterday.

The CAAT member's handbook is available for download at:

http://www.caatpension.on.ca/en/members/publications/member-handbook.

Also available online is CAAT's annual report for 2011:

http://www.caatpension.on.ca/en/about-us/annual-report

 


 

 February 25, 2013

Dear Colleagues,

Please hold Tuesday, March 5th for a special membership meeting (1:45 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.) that we intend to hold in both Oshawa and Peterborough locations.

At this Wednesday's general membership meeting, the Executive Committee will present a motion seeking to waive our constitutional requirement for 10-days notice with respect to the proposed meeting on the 5th. Should that motion pass, we will devote the meeting on March 5th to finalizing TUFA's bargaining mandate in response to the employer's pension proposals.

 


February 17th

Dear Colleagues,

Pursuant to a motion passed at the last General Membership Meeting (6 February 2013), the Executive Committee has arranged a follow-up meeting to provide members with more information on jointly sponsored pension plans (JSPPs). Toward this end, the Executive invited Derek Dobson, Chief Executive Officer and Plan Manager of the CAAT Pension Plan, to make a presentation and field member questions. Derek has already provided a similar briefing to members of the Negotiations Council, Bargaining Team, Executive Committee, and TUFA's members on the Joint Pension Subcommittee.
Due to scheduling conflicts, we will not be holding this meeting simultaneously on both campuses. Oshawa-based members are instead encouraged to attend the meeting on the Peterborough campus and may claim mileage expenses for doing so (please contact the TUFA office for additional information).
 
What: General Membership meeting
Date: Wednesday 27 February 2013
Time: 3:00 to 5:00 pm 
Where: LEC, Room 201

 

 


 

January 30th

 

The TUFA Negotiations Council met last week and decided that additional information was needed before crafting its recommendations on the Employer's pension proposals. They also felt strongly that the membership needs an opportunity to learn more about our pension and retirement provisions before moving to the step of providing our bargaining team with a mandate to respond to the Employer's pension demands.

To this end, we have shifted the focus of the GMM scheduled for Wednesday, February 6 (5 - 7 pm). At this meeting, your bargaining team will be providing a full briefing on the status of negotiations to date, along with a detailed explanation of the nature and operation of our pension plan, and the context within which negotiations over the pension plan will occur. 

  Additional documents for discussion will be circulated as they become available. A subsequent GMM to finalize the Union's bargaining mandate will be announced shortly.  Meantime, we urge all members to attend the meeting on the 6th to ensure that you are well informed on these critically important issues.

 


January 22, 2013

Lunch with NDP Critic for Higher Education, Tuesday January 22nd - 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. held at Alumni House 

All TUFA and CUPE 3908 members are invited to join our Executive Committee in welcoming Teresa Armstrong to Trent. Teresa holds the training, colleges and universities portfolio for the Ontario NDP and has been visiting campuses across the province to gain a better understanding of the concerns of those who live, work, and study in our sector. To facilitate a discussion with Teresa of issues specific to faculty and academic librarians, we will provided a lunch (catered by the Seasoned Spoon) for those able to join us on the 22nd.  

 

 


 

 

January 20, 2013

 

Dear Colleagues,

Difficult times can bring out the best in organizations and we are pleased that two of our affiliates (OCUFA and CAUT) have launched significant advocacy campaigns this winter. CAUT's newest campaign is described further down this message and we will be providing you with more information about OCUFA's initiatives next week. 

------

Space for 10 More

Lunch with NDP Critic for Higher Education

Tuesday January 22nd - 12:00 to 1:30 p.m.

Location: Alumni House 

RSVP

Thanks to those of you who have reserved a spot for the luncheon with Teresa Armstrong who holds the training, colleges and universities portfolio for the Ontario NDP. To facilitate Tuesday's discussion of issues specific to faculty and academic librarians, we are providing lunch (catered by the Seasoned Spoon) for those able to join us on the 22nd. We do still have room for 10 more members at the luncheon. . . .

------

Bargaining: "Hold the date" schedule for the coming weeks

GMM: February 6th (5:00 to 7:00 p.m.)

TUFA's Bargaining Team will next meet with our Negotiations Council on Tuesday to discuss the employer's pension and other financial proposals and to consider TUFA's options. We expect this meeting to result in a set of recommendations that will be reviewed by the Executive Committee and then forwarded to all TUFA members. As noted in a previous message, the Union is also planning to hold a series of open meetings for members to discuss our situation with members of the Bargaining Team prior to the General Membership meeting where we will finalize the Union’s mandate. For now, please mark February 6th (Wednesday) on your calendar.

------

CAUT Defends Canada's History and Heritage

Canada's Past Matters Campaign

http://www.canadaspastmatters.ca/ 

Recognizing the extent of the federal government's depredations, the Canadian Association of University Teachers has launched a broad campaign to focus national attention on the irreparable damage being done to some of our most important cultural repositories. Specifically, the CAUT addresses funding cuts and the ideologically motivated assaults against: Library and Archives Canada, our public libraries, the National Archive Development Program, Parks Canada's historical and archaeological programs, and the Canadian Museum of Civilization. 

The campaign website is worth reading through when you have a spare moment. It is well constructed and provides several useful tools for understanding the magnitude and extent of the damage that is being done on our watch. 

Considered in light of other anti-intellectual actions by this government, CAUT's campaign reinforces several other important initiatives being taken on such matters as the elimination of the long-form census , cuts to federal science and research programs , and the muzzling of government scientists .

As a union with members likely to be professionally harmed by the federal government's actions, TUFA recognizes that our members are also among those best positioned to oppose these actions. Toward that end, we will be working to facilitate the involvement of individual members in these campaigns and we certainly welcome suggestions on local initiatives that we might spearhead or support to advance these same ends.

------

TUFA at Work

Last week, TUFA sent two members and its Executive Director to OCUFA's conference on Academia in the Age of Austerity: attached is a report on that event prepared by TUFA's attendees.

This weekend, TUFA's President, David Newhouse, attended CAUT's Forum for Presidents in Ottawa.

On Monday, our Executive Director, Marcus Harvey, will lead a discussion with our colleagues from the academic union at Fleming College on the importance of academic freedom to the post-secondary education sector.

------ 

Volunteers needed

Time again to renew our Executive Committee . . . .

Elections for TUFA's Executive Officers take place every spring, and the Executive Committee will soon appoint our nominating committee to begin the task of talking with members about their role in the Union. With so much at stake -- locally, provincially, and nationally -- this is no time to be complacent.  Why wait for the knock on your door?  Members with the energy and aptitude for advocacy are encouraged to contact our Executive Director and discuss the ways in which your talents can be used for the collective good. 

------

Rally in Toronto

OFL Protest at the Ontario Liberal Convention

Saturday, January 26th (1:00 to 4:00 pm)

Location: Allan Gardens, Toronto

http://ofl.ca/index.php/campaigns/democraticrights 

The Ontario Federation of Labour is organizing a rally in support of Ontarians' democratic and economic rights. The rally will begin at Allan Gardens (Jarvis and Carleton) followed by a march to Maple Leaf Gardens, site of the Liberal convention. Bus transportation from Peterborough is being organized by OSSTF, District 14. TUFA members interested in this option should contact Dave Warda in the District 14 office, either at , or by phone at (705) 748-3444.

 

 

 


January 17, 2013

It is with great sadness that OCUFA announces the passing of Henry Mandelbaum, former Executive Director and cherished member of the OCUFA community. Henry died in Toronto on December 8, 2012 after a long illness.

Henery MandelbaumHenry was the Executive Director of OCUFA from 1996 until his retirement in 2011. During this time, he navigated the organization through many different governments, uncertain circumstances, and challenging policy issues. He was a tireless advocate for university faculty and fought hard to preserve affordable and high quality university education for everyone.

To those he worked with, Henry was an unparalleled mentor and an exceptional friend. His warmth, compassion, and skill as a storyteller was apparent to everyone. He will be greatly missed by his friends at OCUFA and across Ontario’s higher education sector, Ontario’s university faculty, and colleagues across Canada.

We will be celebrating Henry and the many facets of his life on Friday, February 8, 2013 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  The event will take place at the University of Toronto Faculty Club, 41 Willcocks Street, on the St. George campus of the University of Toronto. 

The sharing of memories will be followed by a reception.                        

 

 

 


 

 

January 9, 2012

 Dear Colleagues,

We hope that you have all had a pleasant and enjoyable break. 

Our focus this term will be on concluding bargaining as we move through a set of important issues. We continue also to keep a close watch on the Ontario political environment and monitor its potential impact upon our work and our university. There is, of course, much for TUFA and its members to do in the coming weeks. Bargaining has progressed significantly and we will be sending out several, more specific, updates in the coming weeks.  For starters, here is your first TUFA message of the year along with our best wishes for a safe and productive 2013.

Bargaining: Next Steps

The Union has now received the complete text of the employer's pension proposal and will be providing members with additional information about our pension plan and the implications of the employer's proposals, especially as they relate to the life-time earning potential of TUFA members at various stages of their careers. Once this information is in your hands, we will arrange for several open meetings with members of the bargaining team at which you will be able to ask questions and discuss these matters in advance of our next General Membership meeting (to be scheduled for early February). The purpose of the GMM will be to finalize the Union’s mandate with regard to pension issues.

Openings on the Joint Health and Safety Committee 

TUFA is responsible for appointing two individuals to the Joint Health and Safety Committee and we would like to thank Errol Lewars and Susan Clark for all their past work on our behalf. With Errol retiring and Susan on sabbatical, we need to name two other members to the committee. Meetings are held monthly (9:00 to 11:00 on the third Tuesday of the month) and each committee member generally participates in two building/site inspections each year. Anyone interested in serving on this critically important committee should contact the TUFA office for more information.

 

You are [re]invited - RSVP requested.

 

Lunch with NDP Critic for Higher Education

Tuesday January 22nd - 12:00 to 1:30 p.m.

Location: Alumni House 

RSVP to <tufa@trentu.ca>

Our meeting with the NDP's Critic for Higher Education, originally scheduled for November 22nd, has been rescheduled to the 22nd of this month. All TUFA and CUPE 3908 members are invited to join our Executive Committee in welcoming Teresa Armstrong to Trent. Teresa holds the training, colleges and universities portfolio for the Ontario NDP and has been visiting campuses across the province to gain a better understanding of the concerns of those who live, work, and study in our sector. To facilitate a discussion with Teresa of issues specific to faculty and academic librarians, we will provide a lunch (catered by the Seasoned Spoon) for those able to join us on the 22nd. Please RSVP if you wish to attend.

Ontario Region of the Canadian Labour Congress 

End-of-Year Report

The attached (4-page) report has been prepared for distribution to Ontario's Labour Councils. Along with the National Union of the Canadian Association of University Teachers, TUFA's primary connection to the broader Labour Movement comes through the Peterborough and District Labour Council. The PDLC meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month (5:30 pm to 7:30 pm) and we are looking for one or more members willing to serve as our liaison officers to the Labour Council. Please note that the attached report includes information about a Political Action conference being hosted by the Canadian Labour Congress in Toronto this March to which TUFA would like to send a representative. Members interested in serving as our liaison to the PDLC and/or attending the CLC's National Political Action Conference on behalf of the union should contact the TUFA office for more information.

TUFA to participate in Austerity Conference

The annual conference of our provincial affiliate (the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations) begins tomorrow in Toronto and several TUFA participants will be in attendance. Among those registered for "Academia in the Age of Austerity" are Haroon Akram-Lodhi and James Penney as well as TUFA's Executive Director, Marcus Harvey.



November 26, 2012  

Dear Colleagues,

Just a reminder that our Fall GMM will take place tomorrow (Tuesday, November 27th) beginning at 4:00 pm in Bata 103 (Peterborough) and in Room 160 (Oshawa). Light refreshments will be provided in both locations. 

Attached please find a copy of the audited financial statements that will be presented by our independent auditor at tomorrow's meeting. Copies of the audited statements will be available at the meeting. 


 

 November 16, 2012

Dear Colleagues, 

TUFA's Fall General Membership Meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday, November 27th and will begin at 4:00 pm in Bata 103 (Peterborough) and Room 160 (Oshawa). Several initiatives begun last year have been delayed, or placed on hold, pending the conclusion of bargaining. Consequently, the membership will not be asked at this meeting to make a decision regarding the level of financial support provided to Trent Child Care nor will any amendments to the Association's governing documents be proposed. The Association's independent auditor will attend the meeting to present the results of his audit for the 2011/12 fiscal year directly. 

Members with dependent care responsibilities are encouraged to consult the Executive Committee's "Policy on Payment for Care of Dependents." 

Attached Documents: 

1. Tentative Agenda for November 27th

2. Unapproved Minutes from October 4

3. Unapproved Minutes from October 16, 2012

4. Statement of Reserves - June 30 2012

5. Financial Statements - 2011/12 and 1st Quarter 2012/13

6. Notes to Financial Statements

7. Policy on Payment for Care of Dependents

 


 

 November 14, 2012 

 Dear Colleagues, 

You are invited - RSVP requested. 

Lunch with NDP Critic for Higher Education

November 22nd - 12:00 to 1:30 p.m.

Location: Champlain College Living Learning Centre

RSVP to <tufa@trentu.ca>

 

TUFA and CUPE 3908 members are invited to join our Executive Committee in welcoming Teresa Armstrong to Trent's Peterborough campus on Thursday, November 22nd. Teresa holds the training, colleges and universities portfolio for the Ontario NDP and has been visiting campuses across the province to gain a better understanding of the concerns of those who live, work, and study in our sector. To facilitate a discussion with Teresa of issues specific to faculty and academic librarians, we are providing lunch for those able to join us on the 22nd. Please RSVP if you would like to attend: we want to be sure of having sufficient food and drink for everyone. The Living Learning Centre is located above the Seasoned Spoon in Champlain College.

  Hold the Date! 

General Membership Meeting

November 27th - 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Location: BL-103 (Peterborough) and Room 160 (Oshawa) 

TUFA's Fall GMM has been scheduled for the end of the day (4:00 to 6:00) on November 27th.  Refreshments will be provided and members with dependents are reminded of the Association's policy (attached) on the reimbursement of dependent-care expenses. Please contact the TUFA office for more information.  A tentative agenda and other documents relating to the GMM will be distributed at the end of the week.

 New Player in Higher Ed Advocacy 

The Council for the Defence of British Universities (CDBU) was officially launched this week. Founded by a group of prominent academicians, the CDBU seeks to reverse the cultural and economic decline of universities in the UK.  As explained on their website <http://cdbu.org.uk/>: 

"The problem is not that academic values are obsolete: in an increasingly complex world, they are as valid and important as ever. But after decades of subordinating them to other priorities, it can no longer be taken for granted that every educated person understands the enormous value to society as a whole of maintaining places devoted primarily to the pursuit of understanding and to the transmission of that pursuit to the next generation." 

Sound relevant? The CDBU's "Values & Aims" are posted at: 

     http://cdbu.org.uk/?page_id=10 

An article in the Times Higher Education by two of the CDBU's best known founding members (Martin Rees & Keith Thomas) is available free at: 

     http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?storycode=421722

 Future of Academic Librarianship - CAUT Conference report 

Last month, the CAUT held its Librarians Conference, "Contested Terrain: Shaping the Future of Academic Librarianship."  James Watson attended on behalf of TUFA. His report is attached. 


 

November 2, 2012

 Dear Colleagues, 

As noted in the response mandate prepared for the Association's GMM on October 16th, the employer's proposals for this round of negotiations included a number of changes relating to TUFA members' pension contributions and benefits. Specifically, the employer has proposed setting employee contributions at 9% of salary on a permanent basis, capping maximum pensions under the pension plan and SRA, extending the averaging period for the calculation of final earnings, and reducing the accrual rate by .2% for future service.  These proposals reflect both current financial conditions (market declines in previous years coupled with the prospect of continued low interest rates going forward) as well as a changing (worsening) political climate with respect to pension plans and other terms of employment across Ontario's public sector.  

To help faculty members better understand this context, OCUFA has prepared two webcasts on faculty pensions now available on their website.  These webcasts ("Pensions Now" and "Pension Alternatives") provide a great deal of valuable information, including an accessible primer on pensions in general and the current government initiatives in this area in particular.  Together these webinars provide essential background on the broader political context within which our own negotiations are now taking place. We strongly urge ALL members to view these webcasts at your earliest convenience. 

Protecting members' retirement benefits is perhaps the single greatest challenge facing academic staff unions across the province. For us to navigate these issues successfully at Trent, it is crucial that our members be fully informed and engaged as we move forward. 

The link to the webcasts is: 

http://ocufa.on.ca/members-area/pesionwebcasts/ 

To enter, please use the pass code: ocufaPeNsi0n 

TUFA has been asked to circulate an open invitation to hear Sandra Ramos -- founder & director of Nicaragua’s “maria elena cuadra” working and unemployed women’s movement (MEC) -- speak this Saturday (November 3, 2012) from 11 am - 12 pm at Bagnani Hall (Traill College). There is no charge to attend and drinks & snacks will be provided. This event is hosted by Horizons of Friendship in cooperation with the Trent University, Gender & Women’s Studies Department. Horizons of Friendship ( http://www.horizons.ca/ ) is a Canadian agency committed to promoting social justice and people-centred development in Central America and Mexico (Mesoamerica). For more information about Horizons of Friendship’s work with MEC view this video: http://youtu.be/c0kIZwTnOJA 

To learn more about the event or to RSVP, please contact Craig Frayne: cfrayne@horizons.ca 

 



October 30, 2012

Dear Colleagues, 

On November 1st, Bruno Dobrusin, a former Trent student now active with the Argentinean union Central de Trabajadores de la Argentina will be speaking in Bagnani Hall at 7:00 pm.  Bruno's talk, "A Green Future? Labour and the Dispute for Sustainability in the South," will address the relationship between the Labour movement and environmental groups as well as current debates within Labour over climate change and sustainable development. A fuller description of Bruno's talk is appended to this message. As a supporter of this event, TUFA extends a special thanks to CUPE 3908 for organizing Bruno's visit.

November 22nd is the CAUT's annual Parliament Hill Day. TUFA has participated in this lobbying initiative for several years and it is valuable to have a good sense from our members of those [federal] issues that are of particular concern. Please contact the TUFA office in the coming weeks if you have an issue you would like raised or an illustrative example we might share. 

For those interested in CAUT government relations program: the Association's analysis of the 2012 Federal and other Briefs and Submissions are available at http://www.caut.ca/pages.asp?page=231. In recent months, CAUT has also resisted (and lamented) the assault on our intellectual resources through cuts and changes being made to such crucially important federal agencies and services as Library and Archives Canada <http://www.savelibraryarchives.ca/>, Statistics Canada <http://www.caut.ca/news_details.asp?nid=1771&page=490>, and the Museum of Civilization <http://www.caut.ca/pages.asp?page=1112>.

 Last week we announced two conferences being organized by our affiliates (OCUFA and CAUT).The date originally given for the second of these conference ("The Limits of Academic Freedom") was incorrect and the announcement should have read February (not January) 1-3. Available spaces are filling up and members interested in participating in either of these events should contact the TUFA office by the end of this week. Corrected information about the conferences is appended below.

 OCUFA

"Academia in the Age of Austerity"

January 10-11, 2013

Pantages Hotel, Toronto

 Governments in Canada and elsewhere have embraced "austerity" as a necessary public policy to eliminate budgetary deficits and ensure future prosperity.  How has this agenda affected faculty, students, administrators and institutions in Ontario, in Canada, and globally?  Is "austerity" inevitable, or are there alternatives?   And what might universities do now, and in the future, in response to the austerity agenda or possible alternatives? 

The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Association's 2013 Conference will seek to answer these questions and more.  The conference will critically explore the idea of "austerity" by unpacking the meaning of the term, its implications and impact on higher education, as well as consider other possible policy directions.  Like previous OCUFA conferences, a diversity of views will be sought in each of the keynote and panel sessions.

CAUT (Harry Crowe Foundation)

"The Limits of Academic Freedom"

February 1-3, 2013

Novotel Toronto Centre

 The concept of academic freedom has evolved over the past 150 years. This conference will explore the question of what are the limits of academic freedom through a series of panel discussions. Among the topics to be covered are academic freedom and the law, academic freedom and religious belief, academic freedom and equity, academic freedom and institutional autonomy, and academic freedom and professional norms. 

Speakers include Joan Wallach Scott, Len Findlay, Les Green, Jamie Cameron, Matthew Finkin, Richard Moon, Sheldon Krimsky, Jennifer Washburn, David Schneiderman, Anver Saloojee, and Jim Turk, among others. 


 

 October 23 2012 

Dear Colleagues,

 Although bargaining has a way of focusing one's attention locally, it is good to remember that a great deal of work is currently being done by our affiliates to defend academic values and principles across the PSE sector.  In support of this work, we hope to send one or more members to represent TUFA at the conferences described below.  Funds are available to defray member expenses: please contact the TUFA office for more information.

 OCUFA

"Academia in the Age of Austerity"

 January 10-11, 2013

 Pantages Hotel, Toronto 

Governments in Canada and elsewhere have embraced "austerity" as a necessary public policy to eliminate budgetary deficits and ensure future prosperity.  How has this agenda affected faculty, students, administrators and institutions in Ontario, in Canada, and globally?  Is "austerity" inevitable, or are there alternatives?   And what might universities do now, and in the future, in response to the austerity agenda or possible alternatives? 

The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Association's 2013 Conference will seek to answer these questions and more.  The conference will critically explore the idea of "austerity" by unpacking the meaning of the term, its implications and impact on higher education, as well as consider other possible policy directions.  Like previous OCUFA conferences, a diversity of views will be sought in each of the keynote and panel sessions.

 CAUT (Harry Crowe Foundation)

"The Limits of Academic Freedom"

January 1-3, 2013

Novotel Toronto Centre 

The concept of academic freedom has evolved over the past 150 years. A central issue has been the limits of academic freedom. This conference will explore the question of what are the limits of academic freedom through a series of panel discussions. Among the topics to be covered are academic freedom and the law, academic freedom and religious belief, academic freedom and equity, academic freedom and institutional autonomy, and academic freedom and professional norms. 

Speakers include Joan Wallach Scott, Len Findlay, Les Green, Jamie Cameron, Matthew Finkin, Richard Moon, Sheldon Krimsky, Jennifer Washburn, David Schneiderman, Anver Saloojee, and Jim Turk, among others.



October 15, 2012

Dear Colleagues,

OCUFA has put together a pension webcast series open to members of Ontario's faculty associations.

The first such webinar, "Pensions now", will take place immediately prior to our GMM on October 16, 2012, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m (the GMM is scheduled from 4:00 to 6:00). The "Pensions now" webinar will be repeated the next day (Wednesday the 17th) from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

The second webinar, "Pension alternatives", will take place October 22, 2012, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m, and will be repeated on October 23rd from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Attached is a fuller description of OCUFA's pension webcasts. Space is limited and so interested members must sign up in advance: the accompanying document has links that can be used to register online. Once registered, you’ll receive an email with the information needed to access the webcast. Registration for each session will remain open until all available spaces are booked or until 60 minutes before its starting time, whichever comes first.  

 

 



October 14 2012

 

Dear Colleagues, 

The Executive Committee has approved the attached draft response mandate for circulation to all members in advance of Tuesday's General Membership Meeting.  Thanks to Sue's bargaining team and the members of the Negotiations Council for their work in preparing this document.

The GMM will begin at 4:00 pm on Tuesday, October 16th on the Symons Campus (Bata, Room 103) and on the Oshawa campus (Room 160).



October 5, 2012

 Dear Colleagues,

We have scheduled a General Membership Meeting for Tuesday, October 16th. The meeting will begin at 4:00 pm on the Symons Campus (Bata, Room 103) and on the Oshawa campus (Room 160).  The purpose of this meeting will be to establish the Association's Response Mandate to the Employer's bargaining proposals. Yesterday's meeting was tremendously helpful in providing feedback for our Negotiations Council and Bargaining Team as they prepare a Response Mandate and we intend to send that draft document out to the list as soon as possible next week. Minutes from yesterday's meeting are also being prepared for circulation next week. Meantime, please find attached the documents listed below. Members with dependent care responsibilities are encouraged to consult the Executive Committee's "Policy on Payment for Care of Dependents."  

Our meeting on the 16th is critically important and we hope all those of our members who are able to attend will be there to help set the Union's course.



October 2, 2012

Dear Colleagues,

This is a reminder of the General Membership Meeting scheduled for October 4th (1:00 pm to 3:00 pm) in Bata Library (Room 103) and the Oshawa campus (Room 160).

We had intended to use this meeting to discuss bargaining and present our membership with a draft response mandate relating to those elements of the Employer's proposal that were not covered by our initial bargaining mandate.  The shifting provincial framework within which our negotiations are taking place, however, makes such discussions premature. Upon reflection, it seems more prudent to shift the focus of the GMM. We will still provide TUFA members with a briefing on the progress of negotiations to date, including elements of the Employer's proposal not covered in our initial mandate, but we will also provide information for our members on the impact that the Ontario government's proposed collective bargaining legislation, the so-called "Protecting Public Services Act 2012," could have on our negotiations.

The Executive Committee will not bring forward any mandate proposals for approval at this meeting, but will schedule a subsequent GMM for this purpose as soon as possible. Meantime, we hope that many of our members will join us for the discussion on October 4th.



September 26, 2012

Dear TUFA members, 

I am writing to provide information regarding the Protecting Public Services Act, 2012 announced by the McGuinty government this morning, and in particular preliminary reflections on what this Act means for TUFA bargaining. 

This Act provides a broad and comprehensive freeze to compensation across the Broader Public Sector including universities. 

Following an INITIAL reading of the proposed legislation, it appears: 

The TUFA collective agreement will be covered by this Act. 

The Act will freeze, for a period of two years, salaries, benefits and merit, but it may spare progress through the ranks (based on our salary grid). We are seeking clarification on this last point. 

The Act does not open existing agreements but it does require that, upon expiration of existing agreements, the parties negotiate an agreement that respects the compensation freeze for a minimum of two years. 

We are still seeking answers on when the provisions of the Act come into effect. The Act itself comes into effect upon receiving Royal Assent, but the Schedules within the Act (including the one affecting universities) come into force “on a day to be named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor.” It is not clear yet what this means for faculty associations currently in bargaining. 

We do not know whether our Parity Formula will have any bearing on the options that are available to us in terms of salary negotiations. 

Given that the proposed legislation was just announced today there remain MANY questions. We will share further analysis of the proposed legislation as it becomes available and will seek to get as much clarity as possible before the TUFA GMM on October 4th. 

Of broader concern, it should also be noted that the legislation presents a serious challenge to the collective bargaining rights of employees in Ontario. This challenge goes far beyond the compensation freeze to include what one observer described as draconian limits on fundamental rights of Ontarians, including barring the Ontario Labour Relations Board, arbitrators or courts from considering the suitability (or constitutionality) of the Act. 

We are working with OCUFA, CAUT and other labour groups to develop an appropriate response and will report back on this. 

Please don’t hesitate to forward any questions or comments you have to me directly (swurtele@trentu.ca) or to TUFA (tufa@trentu.ca). 


 

September 25, 2012

Dear Colleagues,

TUFA's next General Membership Meeting has been scheduled for Thursday, October 4th and will begin at 1:00 pm on the Symons Campus in Bata Library, Room 103 and on the Oshawa campus in Room 160.  The purpose of this meeting will be to establish the Association's Response Mandate to the Employer's bargaining proposals.

Work on a draft Response Mandate is now proceeding in consultation with the Negotiations Council and we will send that document out to the list as soon as possible. Meantime, please find attached the documents listed below. Members with dependent care responsibilities are encouraged to consult the Executive Committee's "Policy on Payment for Care of Dependents."

 

 


 

September 24, 2012

Dear Colleagues,

TUFA's next General Membership Meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday October 2nd and will begin at 5:00 pm on the Symons Campus in Bata Library, Room 103 and on the Oshawa campus in Room 160.  The purpose of this meeting will be to establish the Association's Response Mandate to the Employer's bargaining proposals. Coffee, tea, and hors d'oeuvres will be provided.

Work on a draft Response Mandate is now proceeding in consultation with the Negotiations Council and we will send that document out to the list as soon as possible. Meantime, please find attached the documents listed below. Members with dependent care responsibilities are encouraged to consult the Executive Committee's "Policy on Payment for Care of Dependents."

 

 



August 31, 2012

 Dear TUFA members, 

The June payroll was adjusted to provide the retroactive parity adjustment owed to eligible TUFA members from 1 July 2010 as previously announced on 8 May 2012.   

Subsequently, we confirmed with the Employer the parity adjustments for 2011 and 2012.  The data resulted in a minimal (0.01%) increase for 2011 which we permitted the Employer to add to the 0.77% parity adjustment effective 1 July 2012.  The combined adjustment (0.78%), retroactive to 1 July 2012, should be reflected on members' pay slips in September. 



August 27, 2012 

ETFO, CUPE, and OSSTF are hosting a rally on Tuesday. 

Education is our Future. Stand with Educators on Tuesday August 28. 

  The Ontario government is about to enact legislation that will take away the collective bargaining rights of teachers and other education professionals, and set a dangerous precedent for other Ontario workers. 

On Tuesday August 28th, come to Queen’s Park to stand up for bargaining rights, public education, and democracy.  Join educators and other public sector workers in taking the government to task for manufacturing a crisis in education and attempting to impose unfair and unprecedented legislation. 

We all face an important question. What do we want for our children? What is the greatest impact we can have on ensuring bright futures for all - futures that respect our rights and freedoms, including the right to good jobs and working conditions? We want to create healthy, constructive learning environments. Only by having real negotiations that address the needs of our educators and our classrooms can this happen. 

Stand with educators on August 28. Education is our future.  

Queen’s Park Rally for Education

Tuesday August 28, 2012

12:00 - 1:30 pm

  We want as many people as possible to come out. We have created a facebook page, Rally for Education, at https://www.facebook.com/events/401400006589455/.

 The response has been amazing. It has been great to see so many people talking about the event and the legislation, and organizing amongst themselves to attend and make signs. Let’s keep spreading the word. The rate at which people are indicating that they are attending, sharing the invitation and talking amongst themselves is really encouraging but the activity on the page over the next few days will be key to keeping up the momentum online. If you are on FB and have anything relevant to post - any information, articles, inspiring video or music - all of that helps keep the page active and at the top of people's news feeds.   

For those on twitter, we are using the hashtag #rally4edu 

Anything you can do to spread the word would be great. Thank you. See you Tuesday. 

Mary Morison 


 

 

 

July 2nd, 2013